On a typical day at The Eastern Ridge School, children laugh, learn something new, play with friends, create beautiful artwork from natural materials and get dirty. They also might practice yoga and mindfulness, track animals, work in the garden and look for shapes in the clouds.
Our activities flow from one investigation or creative outlet to the next, and along the way, we incorporate math, science and language while developing problem-solving and social skills. We recognize that young children benefit from a routine, but we also strive not to interrupt them when they are immersed in work or play. Therefore, we think of our days as following a framework that allows for flexibility while also maintaining a consistent flow.
8 :30 to 9 a.m. Arrival and free play
9 to 9:15 Group meeting
9:15 to 10:15 Project block
Project block time is the core part of our program. Rather than being prescriptive, project work emerges out of the interests of the children with teachers facilitating and co-researching with the children.
Project block time includes imagination play, drama, art, language and literacy, journaling, songs and music, early mathematics exploration and lots and lots of scientific study of the natural world.
10:15 to 10:30 Snack
10:30 to 11:30 Project block (typically outdoors)
11:30 to noon Free play
Noon to 12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30 to 2 Nap and rest time
It is important for young children to have time to rest and enjoy quiet activities during the day. Children rest in the afternoon for 30 to 90 minutes, depending on their needs and pertaining to the Virginia licensing regulations. Children who are not sleeping after 30 minutes may join quiet afternoon activities.
2 to 3 Snack and quiet, focused afternoon activities
3 to 4 or 5:00 Extended-day activities (supervised indoor and outdoor play and exploration